Louis promises season to remember

IPSWICH promoter John Louis today promised a season to remember for Evening Star Witches speedway fans this year.He confirmed that he is 'really hopeful' of having 2000 world champion Mark Loram in his team in 2006 and is confident of getting a decision soon.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH promoter John Louis today promised a season to remember for Evening Star Witches speedway fans this year.

He confirmed that he is 'really hopeful' of having 2000 world champion Mark Loram in his team in 2006 and is confident of getting a decision soon.

“We have been given permission to speak to Mark and this we have done,” said Louis. “I am now waiting to finalise details with Terry Russell, who owns Mark after purchasing all the Exeter riding assets.

“I am really hopeful that we will be able to have Mark in our team either on loan or following a purchase.

“We were an exciting side in 2005 and provided plenty of entertainment. In fact, we had a series of wonderful meetings at Foxhall.

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“Mark is an out-and-out racer and he can only add to the thrills. I am not counting my chickens yet, but if he comes on board Ipswich will track one of their most attractive sides in more than 50 years of racing.”

Loram, who is celebrating his 35th birthday today, rode for Ipswich in 1989 when the Witches were involved in the first of two years in the lower National League.

He has been a favourite with Witches fans ever since - and has always been given a great reception when returning to Foxhall.

“Signing Mark would be nice for him, as he lives just outside Stowmarket, and nice for us,” added Louis.

“It has been a worry putting together a side this winter, but once we were given permission to talk to Mark the picture brightened considerably.

“Hans Andersen will be a hard act to follow, but Mark is just as crowd-pleasing and he will be a great ambassador for us.”

Louis confirmed that once the third top rider - to go with Piotr Protasiewicz and Chris Louis - has been signed the rest of the team will soon follow.

“It should fall into place - and if we can agree a deal with Mark the rest of the side should take shape within days.”

Loram is a charismatic rider who will draw extra spectators through the turnstile and his signature should prove a financial winner for the Witches.

His long-time mechanic, Norrie Allan, also acts as his manager and has been known to drive a hard bargain.

It is, however, looking likely that after all the winter worries about the quality of the Ipswich team, it will all come good in the end.

Protasiewicz paid a three-day visit to Ipswich last week from his native Poland and completed some organisational work in readiness for the start of the season in mid-March.

“Flights are now available from Bydgoszcz to Stansted and this makes life a great deal easier for me,” said the Grand Prix rider who will be 31 later this month.

Based in Bydgoszcz, last year, Protasiewicz had to drive two hours to fly to Luton, where it took more than two hours to reach Ipswich.

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